Swiss amps

Hi, i am curious about the perceived superiority of Swiss amps. The sold states include Goldmund, FM acoustics, Dartzeel, Orpheus. The tube ones like Davinci, Nagra, etc.
They are typically extremely expensive.
Question to folks in the know and have used some of the these....what is so special about them ?
"timex- it takes a licking but keeps on ticking..."
but it's not made by rolex, which, from what i've heard, does NOT take a licking and stops ticking even if handled with kid gloves.
i had a meta research dac made by goldmund which sounded (honestly) quite wonderful, but had to be modified since every time i had a power interruption or brown out, the dac became overwhelmed and had to be repaired. also, the 1st one i got did not sit properly on its 4 legs and rocked back and forth.
for $3500 i was not happy and returned it for another one. i also took home the matching transport for a couple of days. it had problems recognizing cd's and proved to be quite finicky.
it looked really neat with it's acrylic lid, gold cd clamp, and glossy black casework, with a spike in one corner for "mechanical grounding". but there was no way i could justify keeping it.
i do have to admit that i got a very good price when i traded in the dac to upgrade to levinson digital. i also had no problems getting a great price for the golmund lineal cable (digital) which was/is one of the best rca-type digital cables ever made. i think you just have to be very choosy, whether something is made in the USA or Romania,
and judge on a case by case basis.
Quality is tops, value stinks.
...i have had a goldmund 29m amp for 5 years and very happy with its' and reliability..i have a tubed preamp...first sound 'paramount' and the combination is truely superb...if i ever upgrade it will be another don't see many on a'gon for sale....
I owned a couple of Goldmund 28M amps.

The power module on one died after less than 2 months. The failure caused direct current to be fed to my speakers and destroyed the crossovers. The power module wasn't available from Goldmund even though the amp was current model. It took 4 months to get the part and endless phone conversations to get warrenty converage on the amp. Even though Goldmund admitted failure on the amp was their problem, they would not cover the cost of repairing the speakers. The speaker repair was 6K...

The sound was great, but the value and service was terrible. I would never own another Goldmund product.
...for the other side of the service senerio i thought i might have had a major problem with my 29m after applying a well known contact inhancer with the result being that my tweeter flammed out..i called goldmund usa and sent the amp to them and they very quickly went over the amp and even re-soldered everything with silver solder and sent it back with a new box..all within 10 days..could not have asked for more from a company....just the other side...
even swiss miss is overrated
I've got a Girard Perregaux that is beautiful and works flawlessly. That is, until you drop it on a carpeted floor, and the mechanism gets knocked out of place and needs a $450 adjustment. I've worn the watch maybe 6 months total and have had in the shop twice. Which of course, in the US, there is only one, and the wait for repair is usually a month. Luxury items... nice problems to have...
i've demo-ed several of the amps you've listed (Dartzeel, FM Acoustics, & Goldmund). each employ unique circuitry (not the typical class A, class A/B, &/or class D) which makes them rather unique fm other stuff out there.
The more complicated the watch the more likely to break on impact. If you want a watch that should be able to withstand anything look at Wyler. It has extensive protection from impact built in. Not cheap though and only a chronograph movement or Turbillon.

As or amps it is kind of the same but in a different way. The better the sound, often the less protection built in. Hence more likely to have problems. I still am itching for a cheap amplifier as a backup for my tubes. Often the more unique an item is the more of a burden it is to maintain. The same is true for cars.
Jaybo, I had swiss chocolate hot cocoa packets and about 4 years later started getting maggots growing out of them. You know, the tiny white things that look like worms that eat people when they're dead.
each employ unique circuitry (...) which makes them rather unique
You floored me.
Can you research the new circuit and advise -- and why hasn't anyone won a Nobel prize for this??
(In other words... Relax)
This is bit off topic question I have for the Goldmund owners: how does a Goldmund poweramp sound? Does it sound tubelike? Does is sound musical, soft and silky in the treble? Or is it just a revealing amp in a clinical way? In other words: why did you decide to choose for a Goldmund poweramp?

FM Acoustics' website claims "proprietry enhanced class A circuitry".

Goldmund uses what they call "JOB5 circuit" (orignally invented by several grad students).

Dartzeel won't even say what circuit they use (but speaker cables MUST be connected b/f operation).

neither FM nor Goldmund makes use of massive transformers, capacitors, nor heatsinks commonly found on other high-end amps (in fact, pics of their innards show them to be mostly hollow), yet all 3 hv high bandwidth/current, are relatively lightweight, & run cool to the touch, etc. i'm not aware of any other Class A amp with these characteristics.

the Swiss does do a thriving trade in professional audio components. i believe companies such as FM Acoustics, Nagra, Weiss, etc. all started out this way. although this does not necessarily mean they'd make good audiophile components, it does show they are investing a fair amt in R&D.

as for Nobel prizes, i don't think they give these out for superb amp (or elec circuit) designs at the moment.
hi Dazzdax,

the latest Goldmund Telos range doesn't sound tubelike or silky. they're tonally transparent with very extended highs & more on the 'forward' side. pace-wise, they fast & dynamic (hence very lively). i find them similar in character to FM Acoustics.
what superiority are you talking about ?

is such superiority based upon your opinions or those of others ?

while i haven't heard these amps in my own system, i have heard them iat ces. i will again hear the dartzeel at ces next month. i'm not overly impressed with any othe poroducts you mentioned.
Hi Alexsee, I think the FM Acoustics has this very refined and silky treble, especially with violins. The character is very neutral and transparent and not tubey at all. The bass of the FM Acoustics 801A is excellent. I know the Goldmund sounds "fast" and a bit forward. But do they also sound musical?


i find FM Acoustic to be more musical than the Goldmund, but only when used in conjunction with a FM preamp.

the Goldmund amps are lively & musical, but not in a 'tube' sense (i.e. silky sweet mids). a number of other amps i tried had smoother, more fluid mids, but usually at the expense of speed & immediacy.

i should add - all amp demos were done on Marten Coltrane speakers, Emm DCC2 running directly into the amp (except for part of the FM session when we inserted a FM preamp). Jorma Prime cables & Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha power cords were used throughout.


i didn't claim these amps (or amp designs) were superior. just diffferent. nothing will works well with everything. it's all a matter of preference & synergy (within a particular system).
For me right now, the best company is Soulution, reasonnable expensive price, more musical than Goldmund and as musical as dartzeel and FM, more power tahn Dartzeel, less expensive than FM...
Newly, have you audition all of them? For me, I think Soulution is overpriced, FMA are not.
I have heard them all and I'd give my nod to FMA, with a very close second to darTZeel.

I found the Soulution 710 unlistenable, but I suspect a $140,000.00 turntable could help.

The Burmesters from Germany or the Boulders from USA compete handily. And to my ears, preferably.
the best company is Soulution, reasonnable expensive price........and as musical as dartzeel and FM, more power tahn Dartzeel.....

have you heard the darTZeel NHB-458 monoblocks?

i own the dart stereo amp, and had the 458's in my room for a month last year. best amp i've heard. it does everything with a sense of dynamic grip and ease combined with the darTZeel delicacy and nuance, yet with tube like body and foundation. a combination of attributes not previously heard from a high power amplifier.

i've only heard the Soulution last year at RMAF, i did not care for the room overall in terms of price/performance, the amps seemed quite nice but hard to determine specific amplifier performance contribution at a show.

Please clarify, which is the "best amp you've heard," the stereo dart or the 458's?
Unsurpassed for lifelike reproduction of yodelling. Focus (the band) fans, take note.
I have heard the Dartzeel monoblocks at a show for a prolonged audition, with magico Q5 speakers and yes they sounded phenomenal. I am not sure with my priorities, I would need anything more than the integrated.

Having heard a Nagra and Dartzeel based system and would happily settle for either indefinitely, but yes prices are insane, even second hand. The penalties I suppose, of the Swiss Franc becoming a reserve currency.

I bought my 9ct gold omega watch when I was 17. Used every day since, soaked 3 times, once in a washing machine! It still keeps pretty good time and I'm 63. Is this a record, I suspect not?

sorry for the late response, i just saw the question.

the darTZeel 458 monoblocks are the best amp i've yet heard. and that was for 30 days in my room.

what i love about the dart amps, and this goes for both the stereo 108 i live with daily and the 458's i enjoyed for a month a year ago, is how they sound like music. tube lovers forget they are solid state when they listen to my system. they don't have an electronic characteristic. they are sweet on top, and transparent in the mids with the delicacy of finer tube amps, yet a low noise floor a tube amp can only dream about. and so fast and microdynamic. like music.

the 458's add this unlimited dyamnic grip and foundation to the many wonderful aspects of the stereo 108. it does not hurt that the 458's are maybe the most beautifully finished amplifier i've ever seen. a true work of industrial art.